5 Top Reads
Our Top Weekend Reads
David Petraeus says Suleimani killing reestablishes U.S. deterrence, Irish unification back on the agenda after Brexit, and drama among the British royal family.
Last Friday, U.S. President Donald Trump ordered the assassination of Iranian Maj. Gen. Qassem Suleimani, a decision that sparked widespread fear of war and economic turmoil.
The death of Suleimani nearly changed the geopolitical dynamic in the Middle East. Calls for a full U.S. military withdrawal were made in Iraq, and Russia looked poised to bolster its presence in the region.
Iran’s response was swift, but its attack on U.S. military personnel in Iraq resulted in no casualties, an indication that it wanted to de-escalate tensions. Tensions did begin to cool after Trump suggested the United States would not retaliate, but, ultimately, Suleimani will be replaced and the military infrastructure he leaves behind will outlive him.
Meanwhile, the potentially disastrous impact of Brexit on the Northern Irish economy has increased the fortunes of nationalists, reopening the debate over Irish unification.
And now that trade talks between the United States and China are relatively stable, expect U.S. President Donald Trump to turn to Europe for a new trade opponent.
Here are Foreign Policy’s top weekend reads.
In an exclusive Q&A with Foreign Policy’s Lara Seligman, David Petraeus said that after years of allowing Iranian aggression to be unchallenged, the killing of Suleimani could restore U.S. deterrence in the Middle East.
The recent decision of Prince Harry and Meghan, the Duchess of Sussex, to step back from their role as senior royals shocked the British public. But the monarchy has survived scandals before, and this time will be no different, Foreign Policy’s James Palmer writes.
The United States will derive no discernible benefit from the assassination of Suleimani, suggesting that the attack was motivated by Trump’s need to distract the public from his pending impeachment trial, Steven Simon and Daniel Benjamin write.
The British Parliament recently voted to pass Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s Brexit withdrawal deal, reopening the debate over Irish unification, Foreign Policy’s Dan Haverty reports.
Alleged European trade unfairness and the continent’s efforts to curb global warming give Trump an opportunity to present Europe as a new foreign foil, setting the stage for a new round of trade disputes with the EU in 2020, Bruce Stokes writes.